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Home » pages » Vacationing in Indonesia

Vacationing in Indonesia

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, and it is made up of over 17,000 islands which stretch along the equator for around 5000 km. It is marked by the blue sea, immaculate beaches, and the fragrances of spices and flowers wafting in the air. The islands of Java, Sumatra, and Bali exhibit rich cultural traditions, and they are the central islands of Indonesia as well.

Indonesian history goes back to the 7th century, when the kingdoms of Srivijaya and Majapahit flourished in Sumatra. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to visit the Indonesian islands. They set up a godown in 1522 near Jakarta. This was followed by visits by the Dutch in the 17th century, who subsequently colonized the islands for the next 350 years.

Unfortunately, the country has been marred by racial and religious hostility, government corruption, and economic issues of late. After the resignation of long-term president General Suharto in 1998, a first ever presidential election was held, and ever since, the tourism industry has witnessed a much-awaited resurgence.

The Indonesians come from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. From the ethnic standpoint, Javanese (45%) is the largest ethnic group, followed by the Sundanese (14%) and Madurese(7.5%). As such, there is no primary Indonesian religion. However, the Hindu culture of the former Majapahit Empire does contribute greatly to the prosperous culture of Indonesia. One art form which represents the influence of Hinduism is the famous “Wayang Kulit” shadow puppetry, where scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana are acted out masterfully.

Sumatra is a travelers’ paradise with unmatched cultural and natural wealth, which includes the enchanting volcanic lake Toba. Kalimantan (Borneo) is another island that is popular among wildlife enthusiasts, because it is home to the orangutans, as well as leopards and amazing marsupials. It has some of the most exotic rivers running through it too. Java, on the other hand, is a commercial hub, and it is where Jakarta, the country’s capital, is located. Java also contains the popular cultural attractions of Yogyakarta, Prambanan, and Borobudur’s Buddhist relief carvings. The Southeast Islands, comprising Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Komodo, and West Timor, encompass a vast population of diverse ethnic groups. The Komodo Islands are home to the living dinosaurs, the komodo lizards. The easternmost part of Indonesia contains Western New Guinea, with lush green forests, swamps, mountains, and uncharted wilderness.

There are three primary ways of entering Indonesia, which are Visa-Free (predominantly applies to ASEAN countries), Visa on Arrival (pay on arrival), and Visa in Advance (obtain a visa from the Indonesian embassy). The country is served by two principal airports, Soekarno-Hatta (CGK) near Jakarta, and Ngurah Rai (DPS) at Denpasar, Bali. Several Indonesian cities have air links with neighboring countries, through which tourists can enter Indonesia.

All in all, Indonesia is a travel destination which will immerse you. The country never fails to amaze with the contrasting beauties of the seaside, wildlife, and the mélange of diverse ethnic backgrounds and culture. It will surely immerse your senses in awe and wonder.